Aboveground Storage Tanks (AST) Program

An "Aboveground Storage Tank" or ‘AST’ means any tank or combination of tanks that is used to contain regulated substances and is not an underground storage tank. An AST system is any aboveground storage tank, connected piping, ancillary equipment, and spill containment system. Leak detections for ASTs must be performed by a certified tank installer.


  • Prior to installation of any AST system, the owner or operator shall apply for and obtain an AST Permit to Install from DEQ. The AST Permit to Install application fee is five hundred dollars ($500.00) per tank payable to the CNMI Treasury (Cash or check) at the time of application submission. AST permits must be submitted with the AST design and operation plan. AST applications are then reviewed and are approved only when the AST application package is in full compliance of the AST regulations.
  • The AST permitting process shall not exceed 30 days. AST system locations are restricted as required by the Groundwater Management Zone (GMZ). For detailed information on these restrictions, please access the GMZ located in the Safe Drinking Water pages. See also AST installation and SPCC applicability at the bottom of this page.
  • More importantly, if you are considering installing an AST at your site, you need to determine if your property is located in a tidal or storm inundation area. Visit this link FEMA Flood Zone to determine if your property and your proposed AST location is within an area of concern. This will impact the approval or denial of your AST Permit to Install.
  • We recommend that you also read the Saipan Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment: Saipan Sea Level Inundation to guide you when planning the location of your proposed AST. This document has the sea level rise (SLR) values which were calculated using a locally-adjusted SLR projection calculator developed by NOAA, USGS, and US Army Corps and serves as a “best management” guidance regarding AST locations.


CNMI Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) Regulations

  • AST Regulations (§ 65-5) are intended to address potential sources of pollution that may result from AST systems. To ensure the prevention and early detection of any release of a regulated substance, new and existing AST systems are required to meet acceptable design and installation criteria. In addition to the regulations, US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has rules for hazardous substances - most especially for ASTs with a total capacity of 1,320 gallons and greater. The SPCC plan, Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure. is required with your AST Permit to Operate. You can refer to the SPCC Rule Applicability table below to determine if your facility is a Tier I or Tier II Qualified Facility.

SPCC and AST Installation Considerations

Installation Setbacks & SPCC applicability

Information to consider before installing AST and how to determine when an SPCC is applicable to your facility...more

Underground Storage Tanks (UST) Program

An Underground Storage Tank or 'UST' means a tank or any underground piping connected to the tank that has at least 10% or more of its combined volume underground (or beneath ground surface). USTs store petroleum such as diesel or gas and or other regulated substances. UST Diagrams and Drawings. DEQ routinely conducts UST inspection of facilities that operate in the CNMI. We also provide assistance to the USEPA inspectors with follow up site inspection for compliance with their enforcement actions in the CNMI. The US EPA and DEQ conduct follow up site inspection on a semi annual schedule during USEPA’s program review or evaluation of the UST Program. Also, USEPA conduct their inspection and issues enforcement action or citation to facilities that are non-compliance and/or violates the federal UST Regulations.

  • For more information on what are USTs, you can check U.S. EPA's page on Underground Storage Tanks here


CNMI Underground Storage Tank (UST) Regulations

  • The UST Regulations was established to control and enforce permitting, installation, compliance, use and monitoring of all Underground Storage Tanks (UST) containing regulated substances and prohibit the storage of hazardous substances or wastes in UST systems.

In 2019, The Storage Tanks program/staff merged with the Site Assessment & Remediation program, and is now known as the "Storage Tanks, Site Assessment & Remediation" (ST/AR) Branch.

For any information regarding UST or AST contact the Storage Tanks team Jacob Lizama- Manager, Storage Tanks or Jason Reyes- Environmental Technician

Above & Underground Storage Tanks Team

  • Jason Reyes, Environmental Technician - AST & UST, (670) 664-8511 |
  • Jacob Lizama, Environmental Specialist - AST & UST, (670) 664-8511 |

You can view the FY2021 CNMI LUST Public Record here.